Some Brooklyn Park business owners are sounding the alarm, concerned about their bottom line after seeing double digit increases in their commercial property tax bill for 2013.
Small business owner Nick Brooks has operated Sammy Perrella's Pizza & Restaurant in Brooklyn Park's Park Place Promenade development since 2006.
"Our property tax bill is quadruple what it was when we first opened," said Brooks. "To see an increase on top of what was already a high amount, it was very hard to swallow."
Brooks' commercial property tax bill is up 31.8% this year while property taxes increased 22% for the Park Place Promenade development as a whole. Brooks believes at the heart of the problem is an overinflated assessed property value which rose 24% this year.
Brooklyn Park Community Development Director Jason Aarsvold says business owners are paying a larger share of the property tax pie, but it's not as simple as connecting it to assessed property valuations.
"People tend to look first at the valuation and then assume that that's the ultimate determinant in terms of how much I'm going to pay, but that isn't necessarily the case because of the complexities of the tax system," said Aarsvold.
The state shift away from local government aid means the state is generating more revenue through property taxes now and declining housing values also further shifts the burden onto commercial properties.
"We want to see that tax burden get put back into balance, we want to see a shift away from the property tax and maybe onto other types of taxes to help alleviate the burden, not just for business owners, but even for homeowners," said Aarsvold.
Because city, school district, and county jurisdictions all play into a property tax bill, Brooklyn Park city officials say tax reform at the state level is the best bet for a more balanced approach.
At the Park Place Promenade commercial development, management company and owner, HJ Development is appealing the tax assessments dating back to 2008.
Brooks fears the double digit tax hikes could spell the end for some businesses in the development and force him to relocate.
"If push comes to shove, and there's no resolution to this issue, we will have to move out of Brooklyn Park, there's just no way around it," said Brooks.
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